Take five days of heavy snowfall, round the clock trail-grooming, numerous course reroutes, and a bit of avalanche hazard, and you have the third annual Tour de Ski Nordic ski race. Set in the incomparable alpine landscape of the Upper Hermosa Creek Valley behind Purgatory, skiers were challenged with 6k, 12k, 20k and 42k races. Travis Brown and Sharon Kuhn, both of Durango, took honors in the 42K, but the real winners were the beneficiaries: Trails 2000 and the Durango Nordic Ski Club.

42kers lead the charge through the Upper Hermosa Valley. James Robb, left, and Dylan Williamson, right, cruise the uphill
toward the finish line. A group of young 6kers work their way down the course Folks shake off the chill in the dome warming tent near the
start/finish line. Jana Freeburn skates with her back to the freshly coated West
Needles. 6K racers off at the starting line.